Himachal Pradesh launches massive afforestation schemes

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Shimla, Aug. 14 (ANI): Himachal Pradesh has launched massive afforestation schemes with people's participation.

Personnel of the Indian Army stationed in the state have also come forth in this social forestry project.

Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal formally inaugurated the programme at Shimla on Friday.

"This is the sixtieth afforestation programme that we are organising in Shimla. I congratulate Shri J. P. Nadda, the Forest Minister and all his officers who mooted this programme. The motive behind the Forest Department has been planting trees since 1950,when this programme was started. If all the trees which were planted remained alive then each and every inch of this country would have been covered with trees," said Dhumal.

Earlier on August 9, all the 68 lawmakers of the state legislature had informally planted the saplings.

At leas a dozen of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are also contributing their mite to the efforts of the state government.

"The afforestation scheme that has been spearheaded by the Forest Department deserves laurels. But without the teamwork of the government and the public, it will be hard to reach the goals envisioned by the government. Therefore, our non-governmental organization (NGO) named Manvi has chipped in to help the state go green and plant more and more herbal trees like deodar in our city," noted Bimla Kashyap, President of 'Manvi' an NGO, Shimla.

This forestation plan will cover nearly 3000 hectares of land across the state.

Nearly 3000 saplings of deodar tree will be sown in and around the state capital and hill station, Shimla.

"We want to make tourism, herbal destination and environment friendly technology development as the apex strength of Himachal Pradesh. When I was appointed the Forest Minister of the state, I had aimed towards planting more and more trees in less time. But without people's co-operation the Forest Department can't protect the forests," said J P Nadda, Minister of Forests, Himachal Pradesh.

The Chief Minister also distributed saplings to the heads of various departments and asked them to motivate the staff members in planting and tending the saplings. (ANI)

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